DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only. If you have any medical concerns, contact your doctor immediately.
Going to a sauna is a nice way to relax the body, reduce stress, and improve your cardiovascular health. However, if you have rosacea, going to the sauna may not be the best idea. Rosacea is a skin condition that causes visible blood vessels to appear on the face and heat is one of its triggers.
Saunas are heated rooms and while a sauna can be good for the body, it can also trigger your rosacea. Instead of helping, saunas can flare up your symptoms and make your rosacea worse.
If you have rosacea-prone skin, you might want to think twice about going to a sauna. In this article, we will be talking about why you may want to skip the sauna if you have rosacea. We will also be talking about some treatments that can help keep your rosacea at bay, so make sure to read until the end!
How Do Saunas Work
Saunas are an enclosed, wood-lined room that provides intense heat between 150° to 195° Fahrenheit. The heat from the room penetrates the muscles. This offers deep relaxation, reduces stress, reduces joint tension, and relieves sore muscles. Having sauna bathing sessions also offers health benefits such as improving cardiovascular health and reducing stroke risk and hypertension .
You will mostly find traditional saunas in spa facilities but far-infrared saunas (or just infrared saunas) are also becoming more popular. Traditional saunas have higher temperatures ranging between 150° to 195° Fahrenheit. An infrared sauna, on the other hand, typically has temperatures between 120° and 150° Fahrenheit.
Traditional saunas work by heating the air first by using hot stones and steam. Traditional saunas also take more time to heat up than infrared saunas because of this. Infrared saunas use infrared lights to generate heat and this heat penetrates the body directly. With infrared saunas, you won’t have to wait for the room to heat up.
Benefits And Disadvantages Of Saunas
Sitting in a sauna for 15 to 20 minutes can offer many benefits. As we said earlier, using a sauna can provide relaxation, reduce stress, and offer health benefits as well. Saunas are also used for detoxification and to improve blood circulation. Infrared saunas can also benefit those with skin conditions, especially if you suffer from skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis.
While there are benefits to using a sauna, there are also risks that come with it. Sitting in a sauna for too long can cause lightheadedness, low blood pressure, and dehydration. Saunas are also not ideal for every skin disorder. Rosacea sufferers can trigger their symptoms when they use a sauna. This is because heat is one of the factors that can trigger rosacea.
Is A Sauna Good For Rosacea?
We know that saunas use heat to improve circulation and provide relaxation. But, we also know that heat can also trigger rosacea.
Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that causes facial redness because of the visible blood vessels in the face. To treat rosacea, you have to use anti-inflammatory products or undergo procedures to reduce inflammation.
So, is a sauna bad for rosacea?
According to this study, far-infrared therapy can reduce inflammation. However, with heat being one of the triggers for rosacea, going to a sauna is not recommended. According to the National Rosacea Society, saunas and hot baths are temperature-related triggers for rosacea .
Having said that, there are people with rosacea that use infrared saunas and do not experience any flare-ups. As we said earlier, infrared saunas have lower temperatures than traditional saunas. An infrared sauna may be a better choice and won’t trigger your rosacea as infrared saunas do not provide a more intense heat. However, some rosacea sufferers aggravate their symptoms by using an infrared sauna.
Before going to going to the saunas or a steam room, make sure to consult your dermatologist first. They will be able to help you assess your condition and advise you if going to a sauna is a good or bad idea.
Treatments For Rosacea
Going to a sauna might be a hit or miss, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you plan on going to the sauna, make sure you are ready to treat your skin in case your rosacea flares up. There are several rosacea treatments that can reduce inflammation and keep facial redness at bay.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medication is readily available but make sure that you purchase rosacea-friendly products. Topical ointments or creams with ingredients such as niacinamide, azelaic acid, or aloe vera are rosacea-friendly and gentle on the skin. Clinical procedures such as chemical peels and pulsed light therapy can also help treat rosacea. Before treating rosacea, consult a board-certified dermatologist so they can recommend the best treatment for your skin condition.
Saunas are great if you want to spend 15 to 20 minutes in a heated room to relax your muscles and improve blood flow. However, saunas can also trigger rosacea and it is not recommended for people with rosacea-prone skin. If you really want to go to a sauna, consult with your dermatologist first so they can give you advice about saunas and rosacea. If you have any other questions, let us know and we will get back to you!